Black & White Studios Word Up Typography & Lettering Exhibition
Last month, I was honoured to be a part of the Word Up Exhibition at Matchbox Studios in Wellington alongside 3 incredibly talented women. Other than my university final year exhibition, this was my first exhibition and I loved it. Each stage of the exhibition process provided it’s challenges and it’s benefits, as I’m about to share with you!
Applying for the Exhibition
Matchbox Studios put a call out for artists to submit their work to be entered into the Word Up Exhibition all about typography & lettering. They asked for a selection of work that represented what I would show at the exhibition, so I sent some of the work from my #36daysoftype challenge and my recent weekly posters.
A few weeks later, I got an email back saying that I’d been accepted into the exhibition and they sent me a document outlining the process. It detailed the setup process, what the fees were, what parts of the exhibition were sorted by them, and the pack-down process once the exhibition ended.
At this point, there was only about a month until the exhibition began, so it was time to get my artworks sorted!
Deciding Which Artworks to Show
When deciding what pieces of work to show, it was a toss-up between my #36daysoftype entries and the weekly posters I’d been working on. Someone else I knew was entering their own typographic alphabet, so that made my decision for me, and I chose to enter my weekly posters instead!
I started by looking at the designs I had done, evaluating my favourites and created a scaled-down Adobe Photoshop mockup the size of the wall space I would have to work with. I started popping my artworks on the “wall” to figure out the selection, layout & sizes and this really helped! As such a visual person, this really helped me to imagine my work in the exhibition, which ones would work and how they would work together.
Along with the artworks on the wall, I decided to do a small run of A4 digital prints to sell at the exhibition too. I chose to do five copies of three prints I had designed.
Preparing my Art for the Exhibition
I knew that I wanted my work to be on really high quality paper, to show the work at its best, and so that whoever bought the prints, would get the best quality for what they were paying for. I headed down to The Big Picture, my go-to print shop here in Wellington, and checked out their selection or papers.
Since my work is all black and white, I opted for the Ilford Photo Rag paper suggested by Big Picture, as it shows blacks the best. The paper has a velvety texture and the blacks are super deep & solid which I love! Because my artworks had been created in different programmes, there were some inconsistencies with the specific black colours, so Big Picture helped me to solve these problems so that the prints would all match and look top notch on the wall!
I also printed my smaller A4 prints on this paper, and got some cellophane bags and cardboard from Big Picture to package them in.
Packaging the Prints
For the bigger prints, if they were bought at the exhibition, Matchbox Studios dealt with their packaging and shipping once the exhibition ended so I didn’t have to worry about that. All I had to do was decide how to package the A4 prints.
I ordered some circular stickers with my Black & White Studios logo on them, and created some A6 thank you cards to pop in the package. I hand-wrote each note to say thanks to the people who bought the prints, popped them in the cellophane bag with the print, protected by the cardboard, and sealed it all with a sticker!
The Exhibition Opening
The opening night of the Word Up exhibition was an amazing evening full of friends & fun. People came in all evening to view the artworks by myself and the other three artists, and we all shared in the festivities. It was a great feeling to see the art on the wall and to celebrate with the other designers and our friends!
A few of my prints were bought that night too, so that was a bonus!
I was so impressed with the other women who exhibited, and bought some of their art myself because I loved their work so much!
It Was a Success!
The exhibition lasted for the month, and by the end I had sold most of the large prints and about half of the A4 prints so I was stoked about that! I love the idea of people having my art in their homes or offices and I really hope they love it!
Selling that many prints meant that I pretty much covered the cost of printing them in the first place which was a bonus! I was more excited about the experience and potential exposure from people seeing & buying my work and getting my name out there!
I’m now selling the remainder of the prints in my online store. I’m also currently working on some new products, trying to get some commission work for spaces and events, as well as trying to build my portfolio! And of course, I’m on the lookout for more exhibition opportunities so if you know of any, flick them my way!
Thank you so much to Matchbox Studios for the chance to exhibit! Thanks to Big Picture for making my work look its absolute best! Thanks so much to Amandala Photography for the beautiful photographs! And thanks so so so much to everyone who supported me along the way, on the night and since then — I couldn’t do it without you!
Originally published at www.blackandwhitestudios.nz.
About the author
Hello! I’m Hollie — a creative director and designer obsessed with letterforms! I spend my time working on hand lettering, typography, type design and branding, using the power of words made visual to tell empowering stories. Let’s be friends — say hi on Twitter! 🤘